Skip to comments.Convict [Ralph "Bucky" Phillips] Caught in N.Y. Trooper Shooting
Posted on 09/09/2006 1:21:15 AM PDT by BigSkyFreeper
CARROLL, N.Y. (AP) - A fugitive who once threatened to "splatter pig meat all over Chautauqua County" in upstate New York surrendered without firing a shot, ending a five-month manhunt for a career criminal suspected of shooting three state troopers, one fatally.
With helicopters circling above a field just over the Pennsylvania state line and SWAT teams and U.S. Marshals closing in, a gaunt and exhausted Ralph "Bucky" Phillips threw up his hands. Police ordered him to the ground, handcuffed him and sped him to New York state to face charges of attempted murder.
"The bottom line is the pressure was so great on him," said New York State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett. "The game was up and he knew it."
Phillips' arrest Friday night capped a frantic day that included troopers firing at him as he hid in the woods along the state line.
For hours, police had methodically moved closer to him. Just before nightfall, 25 SWAT officers and 12 dogs swept through a field where he was thought to be hiding. He gave himself up around 8 p.m., police said.
Phillips, a 44-year-old career thief who has spent 20 of the past 23 years in state prison, was taken to a jail in Buffalo and was to be arraigned Saturday morning on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He will go to Chemung County later in the day where he will be arraigned on an attempted murder charge in connection with the shooting of a trooper in June.
Police have said he could face other charges including aggravated murder and assault, burglary and larceny.
Phillips, who had also threatened to commit "suicide by cop," was on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. The threat to "splatter pig meat" was in a note he left behind for officers when he left the Chautauqua County Jail several years ago.
Since his escape, he twisted and turned his way throughout southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, stealing cars, burglarizing homes and camps and relying on acquaintances to stay free, police said. He may have stolen 41 guns from a New York gun shop, authorities said.
Friday's search started shortly before 2 a.m. in Pennsylvania when a police officer tried to pull over a car police said Phillips had stolen. After a short chase, the car crashed and Phillips bolted into the woods.
A half-hour later, Phillips stole a second car and drove back into New York, where troopers began a second chase, authorities said.
Phillips jumped out of the moving car and ducked into woods, zigzagging back and forth between New York and Pennsylvania, authorities said. Police dogs tracked his scent for several hours until he was spotted by two troopers, Bennett said.
As troopers approached, Phillips wheeled around with a pistol in his hand but did not fire, police said. One of the troopers fired an undisclosed number of shots as Phillips disappeared into the thick woods.
Phillips became the subject of a huge search after allegedly shooting a state trooper near Elmira in June. The trooper survived.
Then, authorities said, he ambushed and shot two New York state troopers on Aug. 31 as they staked out the home of Phillips' former girlfriend. One trooper, Joseph Longobardo, died on Sunday; the other, Donald Baker Jr., was in critical condition.
Bennett said Phillips surrender will help comfort the Longobardo family.
"Now this miserable creature will suffer for the rest of his life in the New York state prison system," he said.
So much for his "suicide by cops". I guess life suddenly appeared to be more appealing.
He should be put in a steel box. He chipped his way out with a toothbrush.
What a career...working only 3 years out of 23... ;-)
The prosecution ought to be disgusting as well.
What's wrong Bucky, the sight of all those 12gauge smooth bores pointing at your face sure seems to have convinced you to waive extradition awfully quickly....
Oh, I get it... grounds for appeal.
Interesting. I guess in the long run bucky was more talk than action. I bought into it a few days ago, when I off handedly stated that it appeared bucky wasn't going back to prison no matter what. What's with the spend the rest of his life in prison. Won't there be a trial in the cop shooting and cop murder? How about the death penalty, or is that something else bad about NY.
Is New York one of those stupid states that doesn't have the death penalty?
Pretty damn close to Petronski/Cyborg country.
Now the bastard can rot.
but strikes down the death penalty??
Something is very wrong!!
New York has the death penalty, but it hasn't been used yet. Supposed to me mandatory for cop killers. I bet he won't get it. Sad, but true.
The Troopers ought to have blown this bastard away. While I am happy they got him, I wish he were room temperature today.
Agree. Now we'll have to feed, house, clothe and pay all his medical bills for the rest of his life. Just one well-placed 50 cent bullet would have saved the citizens millions.
Doesn't matter. Our DA, Mike Green, goes for life without parole. He's been very successful. When the death penalty WAS available, he didn't go for it...too expensive, a waste of time, the appeals are unending and they wind up serving a life sentence anyway. His ways allow him REAL TIME to keep the system moving. The death penalty is the gridlock of the legal system.
There's no doubt that this scumbag received help from friends and family. ALL of them should pay a painful price.
I'm curious. How could the NY troopers take him back to NY without an extradition hearing?
The article states that they were "along" the New York State line. Without a GPS at hand, it can be reasonably claimed that they were on the New York side of that line. Quite Machiavellian, but it works.